Soft, chewy, and melt in your mouth Amish caramel is the perfect candy to set out for guests or gift giving. With only a few staple ingredients and a little bit of time, homemade candy has never been easier.

Amish Caramels

Amish Caramel

This candy has been a family staple for as long as I can remember.  The sweet, melt in your mouth candy is a time warp.  It brings you back every single time.  When I tell people that making this Amish Caramel recipe is really not that difficult, I usually get an eye roll or two.  It is the truth though, just give it a little time and you will be so happy with the results.  It is the perfect simple gift.  Throw a few of these in a cute bag and share them with your friends and family!

How to make Caramel Candy

One of the biggest questions I get from people is how to get the perfect soft caramel. It all boils down to (no pun intended) achieving the soft ball stage during the cooking.  As sugar syrup is cooked and the temperature rises, the water begins to boil down and the sugar concentration increases.   At 240˚ Fahrenheit, the caramels are at the “soft ball” stage.  That means if you drop a small bit of the candy into cold water it will form a soft ball.  If you don’t have a candy thermometer, this cold water test can be used to see if your candies are ready.

Candy Temperatures

It’s helpful when making candy for the first time to understand how quickly the structure of the candy changes based on the temperature achieved during boiling.  The following chart should help you if this is your first time making candy.

Thread Stage

230˚-235˚ -at this stage you will get a syrup consistency possibly something you could pour over ice cream.

Soft-Ball Stage

235˚-240˚ – Dropped into cold water, this will have the consistency of a soft flexible ball.  This stage is perfect for caramels or fudge.

Firm- Ball Stage

245˚-250˚ – Dropped into cold water this will have the consistency of a firm but, still slightly flexible ball.  This is also a good stage for caramels if you like them a little firmer.

Hard-Ball Stage

250˚-265˚ – Dropped into cold water this will have the consistency of a hard ball.  This is a good stage for rock candy or gummies.

Soft-Crack Stage

270˚-290˚ – Bubbles on top will become smaller, thicker and closer together.  Most of the moisture has cooked out at this stage.  Dropped into cold water, it will solidify into threads that will slightly bend and then break.  This is a good stage for saltwater taffy.

Hard-Crack Stage

300˚-310˚ – Dropped into cold water, this will form hard brittle threads that break when bent. This is best for toffee.

 

Amish Caramels

Tips, Tricks, and Variations

  • Tip:  You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe.  If you don’t have one, you can order this one on Amazon.
  • Trick:  Individually wrapping these in wax paper helps to keep the fingers from getting too sticky:)
  • Trick:  These tend to get a little gooey if you leave them in a hot place.  Make sure to store them at a cooler temperature so they don’t melt!
  • Variations:  Dip these in dark chocolate and cover them in sea salt for an extra special treat!
5 from 2 votes

Amish Caramels

Prep Time 12 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 27 mins
Soft, chewy, and melt in your mouth Amish caramel is the perfect candy to set out for guests or gift giving. With only a few staple ingredients and a little bit of time, homemade candy has never been easier.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup corn syrup
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the sugar, corn syrup, butter, and ¼ cup of cream. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously.
  • While continuing to stir, add the remaining cream. Insert a candy thermometer and while constantly stirring, bring to the soft ball stage. Around 240°F, the sugar syrup will turn transparent and boil rapidly.
  • When it hits 240°F remove caramel from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into the prepared baking pan.
  • While still warm, use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles that rise to the top. Allow to cool overnight.
  • Use a thin knife or small offset spatula to loosen the caramel block from the pan. Transfer the block to a cutting board and cut into desired size and shape. Wrap individually in wax paper if desired.

Did you make this recipe?

You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.

DID YOU MAKE these Amish Caramels?

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Photography by The PKP Way.

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Reader Comments

  1. Question. My future daughter-in-law favorite is Carmel. They live in Florida. Amy suggestions on keeping them good if I mail them? If I wrap in wax paper, then vacuum seal them would they hold up?

  2. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe 4 times, now. It is my go-to favorite caramel recipe! I leave in the pan on the counter overnight to cool, then I cut and wrap in parchment paper. They are very easy to make and the flavor is spot on!

  3. I have made this recipe 3 times now. I live at high altitude so I needed to change the temp. To 228-230 it turns out nice and soft. I also used 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 white.

  4. While it sounds good, I thought of the Amish as being more nature based. Corn syrup was created by Gottlieb Kirchhoff in 1812. The modern process was first introduced to the food and beverage industry in the 1970s. It is very unhealthy and outlawed in the UK.

  5. I made this recipe last night. I ran out and bought a brand new candy thermometer ($15 Wilton candy thermometer). I was concerned about the reports in the comments that the caramels turned out hard. I watched the thermometer very closely and removed it from the heat when it hit 250. The recipe says you can actually take this up to 325? That’s well above the temperature for a hardball. I put the pan in the fridge last night and checked before I went to bed. They where hard and cracked like a hard candy. I set the pan on the counter for the night to see if they would soften at room temperature. no luck. They are still hard this morning. Tastes good but I may need to try it again. Temperatures in the recipe i cannot be correct.

    1. Thanks for correcting the temps! I just tried this again. I’m waiting for them to cool. My kids ate the hard ones because the flavor was so good. I’m hoping these turn out !🤞🏻

  6. I read reviews to get input from people who actually made this recipe. I see everyone posting a review is talking about “this sounds good” or “I can’t wait to try it” and even several about joining their FB group. Go home, follow the recipe & then submit a review on how well it was or wasn’t. What ever happened to reviews about a recipe? I read reviews to get peoples opinion about a recipe or suggestions they have. I’m not here to be part of a social group or chat. After reading the first 30 reviews , I decided I had to submit my review. Get a life!

  7. Best caramels i have ever had in my life, and i am 58 years old! I just finished making my 2nd batch for a friend’s birthday gift. <3

    Thank you for so graciously sharing your recipes!

    1. Hi, Jeannene! Out of curiosity, what temperature did you go up to on your candy thermometer? I want to try this recipe so badly but I always mess up candy recipes! I follow the directions only to discover that maybe I should have gone higher or lower! Thanks!

  8. I love your recipes. I also love that I can print out the recipes and don’t have to copy them by hand.

  9. Do you use a special wax paper so that doesn’t stick to the paper? I’ve tried to save it Carmel’s, but I’m unable to? Wanted to make sure to put in my turtles, and by themselves. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I replace corn syrup with honey for caramel popcorn so iI dont see why it wouldnt work for this as well 🙂 I hate the thought of using corn syrup and sure the Amish didnt use corn syrup either 😉

      1. Yes, Amish do use corn syrup. The only corn syrup that is not full of the bad stuff is Karo’s – read the labels, off brands are horrible but Karo’s is just plain corn syrup like it was meant to be.

  10. I am I am assuming that u use light
    Corn syrup & not the dark kind. Is this correct?
    I will try this recipe because I always make Carmel’s
    during Christmas time. By the way love all
    Recipe’s you post????

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